Issue 75

6 January 2021

by Lori M Olson

DRD075: One last look back on 2020 before we forever banish the whole dumpster fire from our collective memories.

image: Eric Dyck via Facebook

OPED ― Our Unvarnished Opinion

2020, a look back. And a look ahead at 2021.

Looking back at some basic stats from last year, we more than doubled the number of subscribers on this newsletter from 432 to 970. And we tripled the number of students in the school this year, from 335 to 995. So close to 1000 for each of these!!!!

And we learned a lot of lessons, like:

  1. No plan survives contact with the enemy (COVID). I had planned to increase the amount of live-in-person training I did, but that went out the window in March.

  2. Sudden health challenges don’t care that you are in the middle of a course launch. My wonky left eye with it’s macular tear had me mostly out of commission for 2.5 months.

Looking forward, I’ll be doing a lot more live-by-webinar teaching via tech incubators here in my home province of Alberta, Canada in Q1. I have three programs scheduled in so far. I hope to spread those programs out across Canada, and even further, later on in the year.

And while those programs are valuable, they still don’t let me do what I really enjoy most: teaching coding skills. So I’ve found a way to start working that back into my schedule this year as well. Check out FITS for more info!

All-in-all, I’m just happy to tell 2020 to “get in the hole” and I remain hopeful that the prospects for 2021 are looking up! Thank each and every one of you for all your support in 2020 and the very best of health, happiness and prosperity in 2021. ― WNDXLori

Today, we are introducing the new Motion In Motion library & subscription for 2021. We have the entire back catalogue of Jack’s videos, plus all of Lori’s updates available, AND we will be releasing a new video, on new topics, each month for our subscribers. This introductory offer is only available until the first new video drops in the third week of January, but if you pay up front for the entire year, you will get the entire back catalog, all the updates, and 12 new videos in 2021, for the never to be offered again deal of $99.

When the first video of the new subscription is released, this offer goes away, and the back catalog (+updates) will go back to its original price of $249.

Also, we’re thrilled to announce the winner of our draw for a free enrolment in Motion In Motion is…Hassan McCutchen of New York City! Congratulations, Hassan, and we’ll be in touch shortly. And now, without further ado, some handpicked favourites from the past year. Enjoy!

ANDROID ― Nothin’ But…

Issue 57

We’ve seen this at least a few times before: an obvious hole in a product offering gets patched up in the aftermarket and the patcher makes a bundle. Anybody out there remember the QEMM memory expander for DOS?

‘Makes a bundle’, that is, until the original product patches up the hole themselves such as is the case recently with Android emulation. To date, we’ve been thankful to have Genymotion’s emulator instead of that dog-with-fleas native emulator. Until Project Marble brought the Android Emulator up to speed with―and arguably beyond―the Genymotion equivalent. David Schreiber-Ranner and Reinhard Hafenscher of PSPDFKit elaborate in their recent, extensive article Our Journey from Genymotion to the Android Emulator. After reading the article you too might make the switch.

GOTW ― Gem of the Week

Issue 55

SugarCube, which “hope[s] to make development in rubymotion more enjoyable” by dealing with Cocoa and CocoaTouch’s verbosity, has had some updates recently. Thanks to Liu Lantao for his contributions, and Andrew Havens for managing the new release.

COMM ― Community

Issue 55

We missed this one back in December but we’re only too pleased to feature, for the second issue in a row, an item from Shawn ‘Swyx’ Wang with a title we think is priceless: In Defense of Hammers. We’re in awe of Shawn’s irresistible, damn-near-clickbait headline writing skills.

AHTW ― App Highlight This Week

Issue 51

We’re kicking off #AHTW in 2020 with a great little game from Twig Software. Most importantly, though, we’re delighted to report Rainbow Rise is really written in RubyMotion. Rah rah. It provides an excellent showcase for what’s possible.

We also love it every time we see yet another RubyMotion app in the App Store.

Issue 64

One thing we likely don’t do enough is feature content for the “small humans” in your life. Justin Collins just tweeted out his brand new Dino Jump, which is a perfect example. Oh, and the DragonRuby source code is available as well so it may be just the place to begin coding yourself out of quarantine cabin fever by developing some kid-friendly content of your own.

Your kids (and spouse) will thank you.

Issue 59

Those readers with school age children have a lot more on their plate than those of us who are simply trying to adjust to WFH ourselves. School-from-home (SFH?) means creating a meaningful curriculum which meets educational needs and yet keeps stir-crazy, cabin-fever kids engaged. Here’s a suggestion: for the computer science class (you are going to have one of those, right?) create a game for your budding Katherine Johnson. Better yet, create it with them. Morgan Schweers has what you need to get a headstart with his version of Tic Tac Toe written in, what else, RubyMotion!

DRGTK ― DragonRuby Game Toolkit

Issue 71

The TeenyTiny DragonRuby MiniGameJam is on until 2020-11-28 and the entries so far so far look pretty impressive. If you’re inspired by them – we certainly are – then maybe you want to give it a shot yourself? If that’s the case, then a great place to start would be Craggar’s collection of tutorials which specifically use a DragonRuby game as their case study. In ten ‘episodes’ Craggar methodically walks you through the whole project from kick-off to wrap-up.

And whatever you do, don’t forget that we also have a great DragonRuby Game Toolkit Tutorial. Even better…enrolment is currently FREE!

Issue 62

We’re in utter awe of this initiative of itch.io: they have brought together the efforts of 790 creators (including our good friend Amir Rajan) in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. It’s over a 1000 items (including the DRGTK!) for just $5, all proceeds going to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Community Bail Fund.

But here’s the real headline. The effort has already raised nearly $3 million towards a goal $5 million. Yeah, stunning. Thanks to James Paley of COGconnected for bringing this to our attention. It’s a time-limited offer, so you best get to it. Everybody wins.

DRSH ― Dragon Riders Slack Highlights

Issue 52

A long thread in which the usefulness of different forms of debugging is debated. At 91 replies (and counting?) it runs a serious risk of tipping over into TLDR territory, but we strongly encourage you to read through to the end. Amir’s take is somewhat controversial, but completely understandable (that is, if you read right through to the end.)

And may we add how refreshing it is to see that it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. It’s truly a lesson for our times.

Issue 56

Oh, this is huge and we don’t know how we missed this up until now. Amir just posted a link to an Objective-C to RubyMotion Converter. Where have you been all of our lives? It’s a great example of the really valuable stuff you can find every day on the Dragon Riders Slack. You really should join post haste.

TWIL ― This Week I Learned

Issue 53

Also, from Dave DeLong, you really want to use Y (and not YYYY) for date formats. Seriously, Dave, we never knew that and thank you.

HAHA ― And They All Laughed

Issue 51

If you’re a regular reader of WNDXLori’s Blog, you should know how she feels about Javascript. As she says “weird-wtf-are-you-doing-now kind of way”. So you might know why we find this one from Thomas Fuchs so funny…

Issue 61

Continuing with the retro gaming theme, anybody remember Doom? OK, yeah, we know. Everybody remembers Doom.

That’s a Wrap!

The world’s best DragonRuby newsletter can be delivered to you—at least it will be if you subscribe! Also, follow WNDXLori on on Twitter and Instagram.

Also, if you enjoyed this issue of the DragonRuby Dispatch, please forward to a friend and ask them to subscribed, too…we really appreciate it!


“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ― Edith Lovejoy Pierce

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